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June 23, 2022 12:00 am
There are two lepers in 2 Kings 5 and both teach us something different about God. One teaches us that God is gracious and forgiving when we repent; the other teaches us just how serious God is about integrity. Let's join Stephen in this message as he introduces us to both men.
Will respond to the servant is a typical illustration of humanity. This day of Ursula Naiman was furious and went away said I thought he will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord is God and wave his hand over the place and she will have her you know some hocus-pocus that be how it happened. I am that you cure leprosy.
I thought it would become what God wanted you to do. Felt strange and awkward well Morgan a look at a story like that today. God often called his prophets in the Old Testament to do impossible and sometimes even bizarre things in order to reveal his glory story in second Kings five is a prime example of that. This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. Stephen continues his series on the life of Elisha with this message. Call seven dips to forgiveness. There are certain words in the English language to conjure up what mental pictures images carry with them without hearing any other word associated with it. Only volume of meaning some words bring vivid colors. They create their own sense of emotion as you hear the word. There are other words, the opposite, that is a brain there is a word we don't hear very often, but it carries with it that only horror that need immediate coils. Problem is, the word leprosy. Although we don't know all the facts in our minds are probably a little foggy as to why that word immediately conjures up images in our minds and hearts. It automatically warns us clean.
I was reading in preparation for this study. Again, I remembered a chapter in a book I have entitled where is God when it hurts. Philip Yancey Yancey had a number of conversations and visits with Dr. by the name of Dr. Brandon, a man like India working in the leper colonies. Let me try to clear a little of the fall was in my mind at least in regards to leprosy Yancey rights of what you discover conversations we have been conditioned to you. Leprosy is one of the most cruel imaginable. It is cool, but not all the way other diseases are primarily acts as an anesthetic numbing the pain cells of hands, nose, ears, most diseases are feared because of their.
What makes the pain, disease, horrible well thousands of years people thought leprosy because all servers on hands and face, which eventually led to writing/loss of land, mainly Dr. Brandon personal research has now been established that 99% of the casing structure physically follows solely because the warnings system of pain. How does the well and villages of Africa and Asia.
A person with leprosy has been known to reach directly into a charcoal fire to retrieve a dropped potato nothing in his body, not patients in India would work all day gripping a shovel that had a protruding nail or extinguish a burning wick with bare hands or walk unknowingly on splintered glass. On one occasion Dr. Brennan tried to open the door of a little rusty padlock yield patient and undersized, malnourished, 10-year-old said let me try Sahib Dr. Lawford and reached for the key with a quick jerk of his head. He turned the key in the lock. Brandon was dumbfounded. How could this week. Youngster out exert the telltale clue blood examining the boys figures. Brandon discovered the act of turning the key – open the bone boy was completely unaware to him cutting his finger to the bone was no picking up a stonework calling leprosy including his death by degrees, bodily injury, physical scarring, ignorant abuse of thousands of different disorders.
All because the person cannot deal. We call there is a very brief biography of a man with this disease. In the Old Testament, we have been studying the prophet Elisha's ministry in their paths now intersect is with this leper were not told in the book of second Kings chapter 5 why this man had leprosy only told that he had and we will learn as God crosses his path with the healer some wonderful lessons that are true then and will so let's pick a study from the second chapter 51 Naiman Capt. of the Army of the King of Rome was a great man with his master and highly respected because by him.
The Lord had given victory to around the man was also a valiant warrior but he was leper of the Bible doesn't give us any chronological clues that we can deduct from this from his life story that is leprosy did not surface until later in life. Till this point here. The brief description delivers one very clear message apart from his current condition of terminal leprosy. I had had it made.
He was at the top of he was the respected, trusted confidant of his personal friend because of his victory over Israel. But the Bible greatly implies he would be every soldier's title, the prophet Jeremiah is right, rather thickly, almost slowly. He wants us to pick up probably the contrast between the highest achievement that this man had one and now his hopeless just let your eyes wander over the description of what the phrase is a great man, highly respected, valiant warrior within this shocking declaration of a valiant man who would soon be unable to grant is for a trusted leader of soldiers who would soon be unable to grip the horse with strong legacy would as captain of the Army be unable to lead the charge up somewhere where they'll he was now all leper of all the titles that had attached to this great soldier the title that he would go to his grave with that everyone would remember is the title now the left in the course of his skirmishes captives.
One of them is young Israelite girl in verse two tells us that she becomes the personal attendance of life. In verse three she said were Mr. slick there. I wish my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria that he would cure him of his leprosy in our next discussion, I want to really take a closer look at this little girl. In contrast with the other servant in this chapter, but for now it's at least amazing to our thoughts as we study this little girl would would it all be concerned for her. Dr. associated text indicates in a nagging fashion said my master could go to Israel Naiman and his wife achieving care probably gives credibility to your message they believed her delicate verse forces Naiman went in and told his master the King say thus and thus spoke the girl who was from the land of Israel and the King of Iraq said go now. I will send a letter to the king of Israel, and he departed and took with him 10 talents of silver and 6000 shekels of gold and 10 changes at this point the analogy becomes very clear.
God told us the Old Testament was given for our example and instruction in some passages are just really obvious name and becomes a perfect example of humanity here lost disease with an incurable sin is his plan for physical healing now provides a perfect illustration for what people are doing today for spiritual healing makes a couple of typical rational errors. Number one the first error is this healing can be bought with good intentions and valuable gifts. There isn't any doubt that David had good intentions. Your Bible tells you that the gift included 10 talents of silver approximately 850 ounces in today's market.
He was bringing along about $40,000 worth of silver.
I learned that a shekel of gold laid off point for Troy ounces he had 2400 ounces $500 an ounce. This man is carrying with him about $1.2 million is about to discover.
You do not by cleansing. It is a gift from God. The second mistake he made it, I believe, was enough in believing that healing could be provided by somebody else.
Verse six and he brought the letter to the king of Israel not to quote directly from the letter quote and now as this letter comes to you behold I have said Naiman my servant to you that you make sure him of his leprosy girl and clarified it was a prophet and is really good.
The prophet, and you can be healed well. These pagan idolaters believe that a prophet somebody down there pretty low in the spectrum could heal and certainly the king would have access to that magic wand and the king could heal will seven strongly fortifies that implications because the king's response came about when the king of Israel read the letter that he tore his close and said my God to kill and to make alive that this man is sending word to me cure a man of his leprosy that x-rays indicate if I try and fail or if I don't try and there and fail to start a full-scale war between Austin and Syria were dead, ripping his clothes and lamenting word finally makes it. Elisha when it happened that Elisha, the man of God heard of the king of Israel toward his close word of the king saying why you torn your close the lid and come to me shall know that there is a prophet in Israel were why would God be so limited to provide healing through the agency of just one prophet. Why be so narrow the world today resists the exclusive statement by the greater Elisha said, I am the way, the truth and the life.
The original indicates, not even one can come to the father except by me.
Does that mean if you believe in good you are wrong. According to a statement yet that if I follow the Dalai Lama that I am wrong. Yes, I mean if I create my own religion that makes me feel comfortable superstition that creates a heaven of my own making.
Are you saying that I can be lost forever. Yes I am will imagine the one entourage now pulls up in front of this humble little hut. I can just imagine the rumbling of the chariots made his house shaking dishes all the little shelf verse nine.
So Naiman came with his horses and chariots imagine that I'm still out of the doorway of the house of Elisha and Elisha sent a message saying go wash in the Jordan seven times in your fly shall be restored to you and you shall be clean.
Imagine famous powerful finalize Naiman doesn't even get a personal handshake from the humble prophet Elisha is implying that where God is concerned is no respecter of person it doesn't matter if you are wealthy or poor, whether you are idolized work on the ground is level and that message was now Naiman will respond to the servant message again as a typical illustration of humanity.
To this day with a couple of responsibility summarize response number one this way.
I think healing should come the way I imagined it would.
Verse 11 Naiman was furious and went away and said, behold circle.
These next words I bought. I thought he will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord is God and wave his hand over the place and cure the laughter you know some hocus-pocus combined with his long robes, and maybe a few candles or something a wave his hands in the air and shared with God and family are healed. I thought that be how it happened. I am that that's how you cure leprosy. I thought it would come the way I imagined. Response number two, summarize this way. I think something from my past should really be good enough look at verse 12 are not gonna bar par the rivers of Damascus better than all the waters of Israel, could I not wash in them and be clean. So we turned and went away, and no great rivers of my learning will do as good as the muddy water of this insignificant profit is not going to have anything to do.
It is silly prophet in his muddy water. Verse 13 is the hinge verse and his servants came near classist and spoke to him and said my father had the prophet told you to do some great thing we do not of done it. How much more than what he says, do you wash and be clean, simple, that perception into the human heart.
These slaves if the if the magic formula had been Mammon go conquer a kingdom name and give your life on some battlefield found $1.2 million that muddy water so hard about that part about it takes the loss of all pride and pretend to say to God, so verse 14 he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of gonna stop here. Don't go any further with you to imagine the scene.
Here's this magnificent man takes a breath and goes under the murky water completely comes up quickly wipes the water from his eyes and looks at his ulcerated hands change goes under again. The second truck comes back up everybody's watching breathlessly looks again. No change.
The third time under the fourth time under the fifth time under no change nothings happening. The sixth time under and in nothing but was racing through his mind. We are not told what I have every reason to believe that he took a longer breath than ever before, and he went under. Knowing this was it.
If this doesn't work on this doesn't heal. I will last much longer I will be Naiman the leper, but he obeyed even after six what he would consider failed attempts. He went under the seventh time. I think he stayed under a long time bursting to the coping breath servants the retinue the soldiers that were there. Look carefully closely wipes the water from his eyes and he looks at his trembling hands.
The Bible says in the flesh was restored at the flesh of a little child and he was clean leper taught me a few lessons I would share with you. For those of you that have taken the bath, according to God's prescription for healing spiritually, you will understand there are those this morning here who are struggling with God's prescription for me, Lord. I'm going everything of myself aside, what about everything I've done for them doing what about what I just gave what about my morality. What about my standing in my position, my friend. I tell you you are's virtually like I was leper, and there are three lessons this leper can teach you.
First of all, it is much easier to work for our spiritual healing than it is to simply receive it were hard, there would be people standing in line matching up shared a story with you sometime ago. I apologize for repeating it, but it came back to my mind, Gary Tober Cope story Pastor but a little boy with his family came to see the Washington Monument. He said that is located in amazement, looking at this monument.
Many saw the guard standing nearby walked over to the garden. He said Sir I want to buy this. The guard said how much do you have reached into his pocket and he pulled out 1/4 and $0.25 guard sits on this not enough boy side back anything I thought you did say that he pulled at the nine cents even hanging on to the hearing, a 34 say the guard said to him, so you need to understand a few things. Number one $0.34 isn't enough $34 million would be enough. Second of all you need to understand if the Washington Monument is not for sale, which also need to know that if you're an American citizen. It already belongs to you. The truth is, when it comes to forgiveness and cleansing. You cannot buy it to try to buy it from God would be like that kid trying to buy the Washington Monument 30 force.
It's not for sale but if you come to Jesus Christ in faith, claiming his cure and his method discovered that forgiveness is already yours by virtue of second thought or lesson that I learned from this leper.
It is difficult to accept a plan of salvation, of which we were never consulted nor fully understand. You mean to tell me that God has a plan for me and he never asked me what it would take us right is this plan of salvation and he never asked my advice.
That's right, that's Thomas's point when he understands all of a sudden his ignorance along with the other disciples of Jesus is talking about going to the father and Thomas blurts out lard.
Although the way their father and Jesus Christ told Thomas and the others. I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the father except through me. Come to me and you get to I think that's what Jesus Christ is referred to most often not helper but give you little power to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, Savior, Savior saves people who are lost and cannot save themselves. Maybe you said, Lord, I want you to help me get into heaven he takes leper's only Lord I can't get in the heaven. Anything I do or give or say or become. I want you to become my Savior, like a drowning man can't save himself, third point or lesson I learned from this leper is this, it is impossible to experience God's forgiveness without following God's plan. God's method God cure. I walked into the study with a question mark.
Many question marks.
Typically one because I've known the story for some time was why was Naiman told to go under the water. Seven times with just some figure that Elisha pulled out of the hat and said I think that really embarrassment good enough to go under seven times and really get them wet part name and you go under seven times. Well, I pulled out all of my Bible encyclopedias and dictionaries was reading on the subject of leprosy, and I found an interesting point in the Old Testament system. If a person had leprosy.
They were to go to the priest if they claim to have been restored or healed. There was a simple practice priest was to take a bird until it and empty the blood of that burden to a basin and intake running water and pour it into the basin and make a mixture in the neck priest was to anoint that leper with this water 7×7 days for forgiveness.
Seven times cleansing ladies and gentlemen, I invite you this morning not to a river filled with water, but to a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins and sinners plunged beneath that one lose all their guilty say in their if you have than the apostle John writing in the last book of the New Testament. The final chapter of God's story writes to them in chapter 1 of of God who is the holy one, the one who loved us and washed us from our sins by his one and this made us to be a kingdom of priests God and my father says the glory and dominion forever and on wisdom from the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen David. You can learn more about us. If you visit our website which is wisdom online.org. Once you get to our homepage you'll be able to access the complete archive of Stephen's 35 years of Bible teaching ministry. We also post each day's broadcast the link to each days message is right on that homepage.
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